NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Six people, including four minors, were arrested Thursday after Nashville authorities tracked down a stolen Hyundai in a parking garage.
According to an affidavit, on Thursday, Oct. 19, detectives learned a stolen white Hyundai was inside the Public Square Garage in the 300 block of Deadrick Street. When authorities arrived at the downtown Nashville garage, they reportedly found the car, as well as four suspects inside it and two near it.
In addition, two other vehicles next to the Hyundai were broken into, leaving their windows shattered, officials said.
Detectives found a window puncher with one of the suspects and a handgun, along with screw drivers and a large rock inside the stolen car, per the court document.
The Hyundai reportedly had its ignition torn out, following a trend seen across the country and throughout the region.
A viral social media post detailing a hack for starting Hyundais and Kias without a key has contributed to a significant spike in stolen cars, according to officials.
The Metro Nashville Police Department said the number of stolen Hyundais and Kias has increased 410% this year compared to the same time last year.
Nashville, however, is not alone in this trend. Law enforcement in Murfreesboro and Smyrna also reported a similar spike.
“Unfortunately, since it is a design flaw, there’s not much that we can do in the way of prevention until it’s fixed from the manufacturer,” said Sgt. Erik Nash with the MNPD Vehicle Crimes Unit.
Authorities said Hyundai and Kia owners to contact their local dealerships and schedule anti-theft software upgrades, adding that nearly 4 million vehicles are eligible for the free upgrade.
“The upgrade, for models with a ‘turn-key-to-start’ ignition system (2011-2022), will activate an ignition kill so the vehicle cannot be started without the car key,” the MNPD said.
Hyundai owners can visit this website or call 1-800-633-5151 for more information, while Kia owners can click here or call 1-800-333-4542. According to the Murfreesboro Police Department, both automakers are also offering free steering wheel locks.